Disquiet Over Presence Of Miners In Cross River National Park

In Breaking News, Reports

By Godwin Otang

Ecology-focused Civil Society Organizations have raised an alarm over the presence of licensed miners inside the Cross River State National Park, describing it as illegal. 

In a press conference on Monday organized by We The People and Development Concern in Calabar, they emphasized the need for the federal government to rethink its decision.

Ken Henshaw of We The People and Martin Egot of Development Concern presided over the briefing where they read a statement.

They frowned at the activity of the mining companies and demanded the immediate withdrawal of mining rights among other sanctions. 

Their statement reads in part “The National Park Service Act (2006) unequivocally underscores as sanctuaries meant exclusively for the propagation, protection, and management of the vegetation and wildlife. Section 9 makes it an offense for any unauthorized person to go into the National  Park without the permission of the Conservator General.

“One also wonders the extent to which the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development,  responsible for issuing mining rights, can rightfully supersede the jurisdiction of the Ministry responsible for environmental conservation.”

CrossRiverWatch contacted the Park Manager, Mrs. Caroline Olori who revealed that two companies have submitted mining licenses to the Park, with the mining area indicated as “within the National Park”. 

She said that the licenses have been reported to Abuja for onward revocation, insisting that the licenses violate the relevant laws on mining and the National Park, and may have been issued in error. 

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